Practicing Buddhists have a guiding principle that makes a lot of sense but is very difficult to actually achieve: The Middle Way. The idea is simple, balance and equanimity come from veering away from a life of extremes. Self-indulgence or self-mollification. One also stays away from metaphysical extremes (heaven and hell, for example:) The funny thing about spiritual practice is that you think you are going along, very mindfully and with some kind of grace and humor, and then the veil opens and you realize that a religion that believes in many lifetimes is a great thing because there is no way in hell you are going to come even close to any kind of enlightenment this time around.
Last week, as noted in some of my blog entries, I was quite active. I went climbing, skiing, winter hiking and as treat for my husband, I shoveled out the driveway. Long story short, I tweaked my heart a bit with all the activity. So, yesterday, I was back at Mass General, having a little check-in with the cardiologists. I love my team, and they tolerate me...still, we have to come to some common understanding of what the word "moderate" means. My understanding was that I had been cleared to do all activities, all of them. They admitted that they had cleared me but then told me that I needed to use "common sense". OK, now I get where it all unraveled.
I yearn to walk the middle path, but I don't. To be honest, that is why I had this procedure done, so I wouldn't be forced to walk the middle path. I thought that I could learn to ski moguls on a small slope, and that was moderation. I could climb hard but not lead, and that was moderation. Moderation, apparently, is not climbing anything that effects my core for 6 months, no more bumps this season, and no soccer this spring.
I have been running my whole life, literally and figuratively. My life is configured around my extreme activities. As I tell my students, letting go of an older way of being leaves space for something new and beautiful. I have to trust that because I have been benched, again.
So, namaste, my friends.....it is all impermanent but oh so beautiful:)